10 Qualities for Staff Officers
The effective staff officer exhibits the following:
- Honesty. Important information is not hidden, filtered or distorted. It is surfaced in a manner that will gain the necessary attention and the analysis is not weighted with a bias against other viewpoints.
- Initiative. Matters that require attention are promptly addressed. Deference is given to the proper procedures and areas of responsibility but subjects are not allowed to languish. Problems and questions are anticipated and addressed early on.
- Discretion. Words and behavior that cast doubt on the professionalism and integrity of the work unit are strictly off-limits.
- Openness. Rank is not unduly invoked. Concerns and objections are carefully considered. Options are not manipulated to produce a rigged result.
- Knowledge. The procedures, substance, and needs of the job are known. That knowledge is never static.
- Judgment. Excellent decision making skills are combined with wisdom and good old common sense.
- Urgency. Making things move is not enough. They must move in the right direction. Continually restoring the status quo is not acceptable.
- Intuition. Spotting problems and sensing when something is not quite right is vital. Attention is paid to both the tangible and the intangible.
- Coordination. Proper roles are respected and the deft coordination of those roles is standard.
- Humility. There is a keen appreciation of when to speak up, when to back off, and when to be silent.